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A statement from Foursquare President Jack W. Hayford:

The present struggle in the Middle East involving active conflict between Hezbollah’s Lebanon-based forces and Israel, with the immediate unpredictable future of that conflict, provokes deep concern to all thoughtful Foursquare pastors and church members.

First, it awakens us to our abiding call to be found faithful in lifting a canopy of intercession over that entire region. We know the ultimate weapons of warfare are “not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4, KJV), and accordingly, as part of the global body of Christ, let us commit ourselves to a stance of intercessory prayer that this outbreak be quelled.

Second, it is understandable that this strife might raise reasonable questions as to how these events might affect the Foursquare movement’s plans to convene its 2007 International Convention in Jerusalem.

At this point there is no reason to reduce our expectation or alter our plans concerning our July 21-25, 2007, gathering in Israel. The history of the Middle East is filled with short-term conflicts by reason of Arabic nations or other Muslim armed forces making strikes on the people of Israel. There’s every reason to believe that this may either be short term or involve a very limited field of continuing hostility.

However, in all cases as circumstances unfold in that region, we assure our church family that as our plans continue to move forward we will consistently seek the counsel of the U.S. State Department. That agency sustains a constant world-watch and provides counsel to U.S. citizens regarding the wisdom or viability of travel in various parts of the world. Our board of directors is being sensitized to this matter and joins me in seeking to assure maximum clarity and care to keep posted as the future unfolds in the Middle East.

Earlier this morning, two of our Foursquare pastors in Israel, Scott (last name withheld) and Chuck K., confirmed their safety. Pastor Scott is in the town of Raanana, located approximately 50 miles south of Haifa, where much of the bombing has been in the last few days. Pastor Charles is located 100 miles south of Haifa in Jerusalem.

Pastors and churches across America, as well as globally throughout the Foursquare movement, are urged to pray boldly and plan expectantly, refusing to be passive in prayer and agreeing together to exercise faith and hope as we heed Psalm 122:6 and “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

(1934-2023) was the former president of The Foursquare Church and founding pastor of The Church On The Way.